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April 6, 2018
It has been 50 years since Eric Carle published his now beloved childhood staple, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and to celebrate the momentous milestone, The Joester Loria Group, The World of Eric Carle's licensing agent, has a host of promotions and partnerships planned for the timeless brand.
"The 50th anniversary will tap into the book's global popularity," says Debra Joester, president, The Joester Loria Group. "Collaborations, pop-up shops, QSRs, in-school programs and retail partnerships driven by dynamic social media are in the works in Japan, the U.K., Germany, Australia, and of course, the U.S."
The property's "good for you" positioning has made it an ideal partner for quality brands that connect to new moms, says Joester. For example, in Germany, Mulipa, a world leader in infant nutrition, partnered with the World of Eric Carle for their First 1,000 Days campaign, which promotes healthy food choices for babies. The campaign was supported with dynamic marketing that reached 20 million consumers. The campaign kicked off in September 2016 on Weltkindertag (World Children's Day) and will again be celebrated this year.
As part of the 50th anniversary campaign, The World of Eric Carle has partnered with Dr. Brown's Baby for a co-branded collection, a first for the brand. The Very Hungry Caterpillar will be featured on infant pacifiers/teethers, training cups and solid feeding products and hit retail in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Australia and the Netherlands.
"Dr. Brown's Baby is excited to align with the World of Eric Carle, as we are both committed to the healthy development of children and their families," says Christy Pogorelac, director, research, Handi-Craft Company, owners of the Dr. Brown's brand.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar will also return to the stage with the "Very Hungry Caterpillar and Friends" live show. The event kicks off in New York City in October and will make its way to London in time for the holiday season. The show first debuted in Australia in 2015 and has since toured 270 cities and opened the curtain on 1,180 shows. Other stops on the new leg of the tour include San Francisco, Calif.; Dallas, Texas; and Portland, Ore.
Apparel is a key global category for the brand, says Joester, and several exclusive collections and direct-to-retail programs are planned for retailers such as Toys 'R' Us, Japan, Big W Australia, M & Co in the U.K. and Netto in Germany. Licensee Happy Threads is also on board for toddler and infant apparel, which will launch its first collection this fall in the U.S. Other licensees include Intimo for sleepwear and Jaxxwear for onesies and related baby apparel, which is already on shelf at Nordstrom and other retailers.
Other plans for The Very Hungry Caterpillar brand include curriculum and in-school campaigns that will engage teachers and bring activities to classrooms across the U.S., as well dynamic social media campaigns targets to moms and families. Fiftieth birthday products are in the works this year, as are new apps and special edition collectibles for holiday 2018.
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